Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 18 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

Fractal Politics: Local Marching or Marchturbating; Dems Legislating to stop the war or Jerking us Around.

By       (Page 1 of 3 pages)   11 comments
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Rob Kall
Become a Fan
  (295 fans)

Yesterday, the local peace coalitions put together a "Peace Demonstration and March."
I have begun participating in one of the coalitions-- the one nearest my town-- and have grown to really respect the leader.

I arrived at the stated 2:00 start time for the march, discovering that the marchers were inside the church meeting place. Looking now at the email notice, it did say "There will be speakers before and after the March."

It ends up, the volunteer who was providing the sound system had a family emergency, and they ran half an hour late getting a last minute sound system up and running. Then, the antithesis of an inspiring, energizing, rousing woman started running a disastrous run of "performers." It started off with a very elderly woman who did a poetry reading. It was followed by a local guitar player singer, then another poet, then... the poets and players and speakers droned on and on.

By 3:15, some of the activist friends I'd met up with there and I were getting antsy. We'd come to march, not listen to a poetry slam. We stepped outside. People were starting to leave. This march was floundering. We went inside, only to overhear some of the leaders discussing the fact that a priest at the Catholic Church, St. Martin of Tours, in New Hope, PA, had thrown out the group setting up the audio for the end of the march. Apparently, arrangements had been made with the pastor, and this junior priest hadn't gotten word and was taking the cowardly, cover his ass way out.

Apparently, two people decided that the 360+ marchers would sit to listen to all the people who were scheduled to speak, read poetry and play the guitar after the march-- even the marchers who hadn't planned on staying and listening.

Meanwhile, the day was slipping away, and more people were leaving.

The 2:00 start had dragged on for an hour and a half. And they were just getting started with the "post-march" "entertainment."

Now, my activist friends and I got to know each other when we were participating in "run against Bush" back in summer 2004. Our whole purpose was to get local pedestrians, passers-by, drivers to be aware that there were a lot of us opposing Bush. Every Tuesday evening, as many as 100 would walk several miles of the streets of the county seat. We knew that the goal is visibility-- to get people's attention.

And here we were, participating in another group's activity, feeling frustrated. But this was happening on a day when vigils and actions were taking place all over the country. Another friend had asked me to participate in a vigil that same day and I had encouraged him to join the march.

The decision by the leaders who were making calling the shots in the church seemed very wrong to us. We asked how much longer the "show" would go on and were told about half an hour. We went upstairs to see a woman reading page after page of lecture-- saying things about Iraq that every activist in the audience already knew. I've learned that she had a five minute allotted time. But she stretched it into 15-20 minutes. As a conference organizer, I believe that people who go over their time limit are extremely disrespectful of both the people who are supposed to follow them and the audience. It may be weak or non-existent self awareness and self regulation, or it may be selfish ego driven ignoring of the terms the speaker agreed to. But it was clear that this was not going to be 30 minutes. There at least five speakers, guitarists, poets... and it takes time for set-up, between "acts."

So Rich and I approached one of the two leaders. We suggested to her that this was a bad idea. She explained she was keeping things going in consideration for the people who were supposed to do their thing after the march, since the church was no longer available.

I said the march was not about the needs of a few guitarists, poets and speakers. She said they'd be done in 30 minutes. The women who was already on overtime kept droning on, reading her talk. (I hate it when speakers read a talk. They're not even speakers-- they're readers and have no place at a rally. Even Jesse Jackson uses notes for his talks, but he gives an impassioned speech, doesn't read and read and read.)

I suggested to this woman running things that we the people should be deciding whether we should be marching or sitting for another 30-60 minutes. We're doing it as fast as we can, she replied. The "reader" at the podium droned on, minutes ticking by like hours.

Keep in mind, we had a very nasty snow on Friday, the weather was very cold and, luckily, we had some brigh sunlight. But it was approaching 4:00 and the plan was for us to March across a bridge over the delaware river. Windy!.

Rich and I went to the back of the church, having made no headway. We went outside, and there was a crowd of people, milling, all frustrated, more leaving. We went back in to see what would happen when the "reader" finished. She was getting the next speaker up at the podium. Suddenly, someone out in the hall behind the main church area called out, loudly, "March." That broke the ice and Rich and I started talking/shouting... "we're here to march, not sit." The MC running things informed the audience that they would watch the rest of the people who were supposed to go on after the march and then leave. I said, "let we-the-people decide."

A few dozen people got up and started leaving, while the next speaker was preparing.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

Rob Kall Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media.

Check out his platform at

He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity

He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites,

more detailed bio:

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

A Conspiracy Conspiracy Theory

Debunking Hillary's Specious Winning the Popular Vote Claim

Terrifying Video: "I Don't Need a Warrant, Ma'am, Under Federal Law"

Ray McGovern Discusses Brutal Arrest at Secretary Clinton's Internet Freedom Speech

Hillary's Disingenuous Claim That She's Won 2.5 Million More Votes is Bogus. Here's why

Cindy Sheehan Bugged in Denver

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend